The promise of an Apple TV

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Sam Posten, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Your living room is a battlefield that’s killed every would-be conqueror for the past 50 years, and it’s driving the tech industry insane. Over the top.
    http://www.theverge.com/2012/11/12/3633984/future-of-tv-over-the-top
     
  2. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    About the most of a confirmation you are gonna get outta Apple;
    http://appleinsider.com/articles/12/12/06/tim-cook-publicly-hints-that-apple-plans-to-redefine-the-television-set
     
  3. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I hope this is so wrong as to be laughable.
    http://thetechblock.com/how-apple-tv-will-work/
    Gassee takes another tack, calling it a fantasy:
    http://www.mondaynote.com/2012/12/09/5175/
    I don't think Apple will compromise as much on Cable as they did on phones. And if you ask anyone who worked with Apple on the phone side of things, the carriers hated Apple and now they REALLY hate Apple.
    But as Gassee notes: all you need is a wedge. There are 4 carriers+ and all you need is #3 or #4 willing to bend and then you have years worth of the leaders listening to their customers wail about how much they suck and how much better it would be if Apple TV were on their network.
     
  4. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

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    But the difference is that people living practically anywhere in the US were able to switch from their carrier to AT&T to get the iPhone. This put enormous pressure on AT&T's competitors to get it. But if your local cable company doesn't support the Apple TV, all you can do is complain. There is no one to switch to, so the cable guys can simply ignore the complaining.

    Take my example -- my NYC building has TWC - period. No Verizon FIOS (or any hint that it will ever materialize), no Comcast, nothing. Absolutely no alternative whatsoever. Unless TWC makes a deal with Apple, I would be screwed.

    Edit: And don't tell me about "cord cutters", because where is that high speed internet service coming from -- it hardly matters if you are paying the cable guys to be your ISP or for TV… (TWC charges me $104 per month for fast (DOCSIS 3.0) broadband). How can they get away with it? -- their only competition is snail slow Verizon DSL.
     
  5. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    All valid points Ted. I can't argue against any of that. We're all waiting to see what the roll out strategy is and what the big "I've solved it" euraka was for Jobs.
    TV seems like an inevitability at this point, but there is still so much we don't know.
    One thing i can predict today: Generation 1 won't be perfect. Many people will criticize it. Many HTF regulars may swear off it due to faults and wonkiness. Maybe even me!
    And then Apple will (hopefully!) crank out update after update 'fixing' those deficiencies as competitors try to catch up once again, pinning their hopes to one or two facets that Apple doesn't care much about.
    If I had to predict what that big zing might be I'd surely bet on 'screen size', Apple will start with modest sizes like 40 and maybe 55 inches and there will be loads of people screaming 'I can't possibly buy anything smaller than 60 inches'
     
  6. DaveF

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    I still predict against an actual tv. Tvs are furniture with infrequent upgrades. Apple wants to sell hardware that people will rebuy every three years. That's a box that connects to a TV.
    And since they do services as a means to the end of selling hardware, we should expect any "TV" solution applies to the iPhone, iPad, and Mac lines.
    Or perhaps: any apple TV set will be identical to an iPad connected to a Samsung tv via AirPlay.
     
  7. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    We have that today tho. And it does not play well with others.
    You may be right that the external box will continue, but I expect that an All In One that does more, or easier, than the external is incoming. Time will tell! Will it be 2013?
     
  8. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I saw on another forum a poster posit the idea for how Apple would get around the need for multiple screen sizes: A projector! They have patents in this area already!!!! /facepalm
     
  9. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    All you need to know: http://www.loopinsight.com/2013/02/13/apples-rumored-tv-related-event-in-march/
     
  10. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    They may launch a TV. If they do, I will say it now and wait to be proven wrong (maybe they can do it) really bad decision. Here's why. Plummeting price of LCD/LED puts many 50"+ sets in the sub 1k range. They are shopped everywhere and pretty much plug in as long as you have HDMI or a cord. An integrated set faces some major issues because of that. Yes, TV manufacturers have shipped with DLNA and Hulu/Netflix. And maybe Apple will go that route. But those features are becoming an "at no extra cost" service. If Apple integrates something like AppleTV and it's beyond the price point of other sets, then it's a much tougher road then selling an iPad or Mac. People view a TV by different standards "I want big and nice picture". That's it. If Apple integrates AppleTV like function, it's either going to have to transparently ride on top of an HDMI input (which I'm not sure how receivers would handle that HDMI handshake for HDCP purposes) or it's going to be an in use/not in use. Either way, it means that in a year, when they come out with a "major upgrade"... and while it's easy for people to trade up phones or pads, I'm not sure how eager people would be to get on a cycle that leaves them chunking 55" sets into the landfill. The next big problem they are going to face is content. They have iTunes, yes, but major networks are not going to cut them a significant deal to just start streaming live TV. And even if they do, bandwidth providers aren't in the business of giving away bandwidth. Google has a test market here in KC with thier Google Fiber, bringing 1Gb Internet to the home (it's cool), but they have had a real problem getting cable companies to offer them licensing to distribute content in one test market. I'd be interested to see how Apple gets around that problem. The thing is, those companies already have locked contracts for carriage rates with Time Warner, Comcast, Surewest, Charter, Verizon, ATT, Dish, DirecTV. So, how eager are cable companies to risk having one of those agreements get blown up because of complaints about differences in carriage rates? The biggest one to me is also the tool up. Ipad is a "one size fits all" until the mini. Now 2. TVs don't work that way. I've got a 65" in my livingroom, a 42" in my front room, a 47" in the bedroom. The ability to pick a size of TV that matches with the room it is in is a significant factor for a lot of people to purchase. If apple starts shipping TVs, they would need a complete product line ranging from 37"/40" and up. If they just come out with one size, they lose giant swaths of their audience. No one is buying a 40" set to put in a 17'x17' room. That's not going to happen.
     
  11. DaveF

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    I don't know what Apple can bring to TVs. Pioneer went out of TV business selling the highest quality sets; people don't care about picture quality. I haven't looked at the UI of my TV in two years; it's not a computer that requires daily, hourly fighting with its OS. And TVs are furniture, not technology; people don't upgrade sets like phones or computers. I'll be happy to be wrong, and see TV finally done right. Windows Media Center suggests a powerful system, but isn't usable but by technophiles. Maybe Apple can solve all my Blu-ray, TiVo, cable card woes. Perhaps with their Retina Display manufacturi capacity, they kickstart the 4k business. And sell ios games to peovide content?
     
  12. andrew markworthy

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    Very true, though it should be said that the Kuro was so expensive that even a lot of consumers who could genuinely see its qualities weren't prepared to pay that sort of money (me included, and yes, I could afford a Kuro). And I think therein lies the problem. Picture quality is so good these days from an average set that paying top dollar for the very best seems a poor marginal return. So offering the best picture just ain't enough to command market dominance if the price is too high. With computers, Apple can justify their higher price tag in two main ways: (1) They don't crash and have far more reliable software than Windows PCs. (2) They are far better built. But you cannot really use those selling points with TVs. TVs do not have reliability/crashing problems like PCs, And as for build quality, again, this is not really an issue, either. So what can Apple offer that is truly different? At this point I should perhaps mention that I spent a good two hours a few days ago discussing how to market electronic goods (including TVs) to the general public with the director of one of the UK's leading marketing companies [I've been asked to advise on a specialist aspect of a campaign and apologies but I cannot say more about what that is]. The simple truth is that recent feedback shows that consumers are getting weary of more and more change which they see (I think not without reason) as change for change's sake. Furthermore, a high proportion of disposable income is in older (i..e over 50 yrs old) consumers. And they are more interested in mundane things like simple, easy to see and use controls than whether something is good for gaming, or can interface with the computer. My guess is that whatever Apple offers in the way of whistles and bells, it's unlikely to appeal to the bulk of consumers, who are weary and more than a little cynical of changes.
     
  13. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Andrew, I respect your opinion very much, but I honestly have to laugh at how much your comments parallel similar ones made before Apple introduced iPhone. I don't know when or if Apple will enter a 'real' Apple TV to the market. But I suspect that if they do you might be surprised at how well they answer your doubts or how they change the thinking to reflect a different take on these things. It's weird in a way, I'd lay most of the charges on technology overload you lay out on how everyone BUT Apple approaches things. In fact I suspect the very power users who clamor for new and better will scoff at how simplistic and overpriced this mythical product turns out to be, if it ever comes to life.
     
  14. DaveF

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    Agree wholly.
    Also, it seems OXO should make a TV... :)
    I also agree. Which is why I'm looking forward to seeing Apple make a TV that I don't think they'll make.
    Still, a key difference remains: PDAs and phones and computers have a complex UI that needing both taming and new abilities. Apple did that. A TV is a giant screen with four buttons: channel up/down and volume up/down. Maybe five, counting source-select. The UI is dead simple after initial setup. What does Apple bring? And why does Apple bring it?
    Realistically, Apple will enter something like the TV market. They're a massive company and need to expand their product line to keep growing. They're getting slaughtered on Wall Street, which certainly harms their ability to retain or attract key talent. They need new products. They're a massive producer of high-quality displays. And with their stores, they can display TVs to great effect. So TVs sound good.
    What I anticipate is a 4k / Ultra HD set in the 40" - 60" range, with the current Apple TV integrated, and particularly AirPlay built in. It will run apps. It will have Siri, but that will be a better demo that control. "Gaming" will be: buy an iPad and play by Airplay.
    The remote will be essentially a prior-gen iPod Touch, with no headphone jack or volume controls. But it will run apps and support AirPlay. This will be the UI for TV use of Facebook, Web browsing, and Angry Birds type games on the set. It also assuages the notional problem that the AppleTV requires you to also buy an iPhone to be anything more than an overpriced, re-branded Sharp LED TV.
    It won't have a DVR built in. It might have cable card and custom guide interface integrated with the AppleTV...maybe.
    It will cost significantly more than comparable TV sets. Though Apple's mobile products are priced to compete, their monitors have always been very expensive; up to double the price.
     
  15. andrew markworthy

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    Or for that matter the iPad (who wants something that size that can't fit in your pocket? etc). But there is a crucial difference between the TV and the iPhone. The iPhone came at a time when mobile phones had become ubiquitous but smart phones were less than reliable - there was a clear need for a smart phone that looked good and worked well, and Apple filled the gap in the market. But TVs are not the same. You're dealing with a product with even a bigger presence than mobile phones and furthermore, TVs have been around for a lot longer. Talking about 'revolutionising the way we watch TV' will be for (literally) millions of people like saying 'we're going to snatch your comfort blanket off you'. And many more will say 'why bother? - it's only TV for freakin' sake'. Maybe things are different in the USA, but in the UK (and I'm talking about properly-conducted nationwide research now, not just water cooler gossip) there is a resounding indifference to yet more technological changes that at the end of the day are only really likely to get techno geeks excited. Let's face it - it doesn't matter how good TVs get, you're still watching the same programs. I'm categorically *not* saying that Apple will produce something that's bad, but simply that even Apple might have over-estimated the desire for something different. And it wouldn't be the first time - remember Newton?
     
  16. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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  17. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    As the Amazon Kindle app doesn't support AirPlay, this could be competition to AppleTV and Roku. Hopefully with this will come AirPlay support?
     
  18. Sam Posten

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  19. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    So not a TV. :)

    I wonder what a possible release date is for a rumored Apple product/service? I'd like to get an AppleTV, mostly for AirPlay. I'm in no hurry and if Apple is set to reinvent the broadcasting industry, I'd buy that one...
     
  20. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    I have a 100 dollar rz cert at BB and was thimking of getting one of these little black boxes. From what I gather it is like a roku but also allows for apple info from my itunes catalog. Already have a roku but would be nice to watch things like the new Star Trek movie itunes extras on something bigger then my ipad.Am I getting this right?
     

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